Biography

 Curriculum & Technology Specialist for Young Audiences of Houston, Amy Willerson has a B.A.  in Theatre and   a Masters of Education both from the University of Southern California.  She is currently a graduate student at the University of Houston pursuing a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on arts integration. Previously, Amy was the Director of Education at Stages Repertory Theatre, Director of Education and Programming at Young Audiences of Houston, and Director of the Theatre Department at the Archer School in Los Angeles.  Amy has spent the past 16 years teaching in classroom and theatre settings, directing productions, designing curriculum, and working with teachers on using arts for learning.  She currently resides in Houston with her husband, their three children, and a yellow lab.

Educational Philosophy

Influenced by John Dewey, Joseph Schwab, and Elliot Eisner, my philosophy is that teaching is an art.  Teachers (prior to this era of scripted lessons and testing insanity) make daily aesthetic decisions about what and how to teach.  In order to be effective, teachers must be curriculum makers, not just curriculum implementors.  Education reform is only successful, in my opinion, when it is a community effort (teachers, parents, administrators, students, etc) and when it is customized to each locale – in other words, every school and community is different and has different needs.   Reform must be flexible to meet the needs of a specific school.  I do believe that all schools should be places that offer a well-rounded education to all children, which includes the arts.  There is no magic formula or one path or type of reform that will save all schools – it will take many different approaches working together.  While my passion is for arts integration, I do not believe that it is the only way.  However, I do believe that it is a great tool for engaging students in higher levels of critical thinking and creating deeper levels of content mastery.

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